Downward Dog Style…on the River

In a final, almost afterthought in my 5:30 p.m. Vinyasa class Thursday evening, my instructor at Kindness Yoga, said just above the timbre of a soft murmur “enjoy this night…” as he shifted his gaze outside toward the bright, late-day July sun, his voice trailing off slightly, “…don’t miss one moment.” It was the very thought that I was having as I peacefully and longingly drank in the sun through the windowpanes. Get out there is what I spoke to myself. Summer is swiftly drawing to a close…don’t let any moments pass you by.

Sometimes it can be difficult to make it to yoga in the summertime. Not difficult to practice in the summer, necessarily, but difficult simply to get to the studio. To decide to step inside the studio, to be more clear. There are a bunch of reasons, of course, the obvious one being that it’s hot outside and it’s, often, even hotter inside a yoga studio. But the main challenge? To give an hour of the day, remaining inside for even one more hourthan is absolutely essential can be almost heartbreaking, detrimental to your wellbeing. Many of us spend eight hours, or more, a day working in air-conditioned offices (tons of people spend the entire evening in air conditioning too, sitting inside, watching the boob tube, being taught how to be better consumers or reality TV star worshippers—eek), but I digress.

Eye Scan

Eyes Without a Face

A large test to a committed, solid summer practice is that we see and feel such little of the sun during the work week. There are days or weeks in which we don’t step foot outside of the building that we enter each morning at 8 a.m., until we exit it at 5 p.m.—sometimes we dream up errands to run over lunch just so that we can feel a bit of natural warmth on our skin, so we can shield our eyes from natural light. We actually welcome the influx of light on our retinas. Eight hours spent inside, without a breeze blowing through window screens because those windows behind us don’t actually open (whose brilliant idea was this anyway, ye ol’ wise businessmen, maximize productivity and profits by holding the worker bees hostage in stale, gives-the-impression-of-ventilated air. It’s much like the “Vegas concept:” it’s dark inside during the day and the lights are at full blaze at night—nobody sleep!), without fresh summer smells wafting through the air, no chirping or bird songs fill our ears with the sounds of summer. Worse yet, sitting under fluorescent lights, our gorgeous, golden-tanned skin, SPF protected of course, that we’ve dedicated our weekends to building by way of biking, jogging, throwing Frisbee at Cheesman, bangin’ around a volleyball in Wash Park, golfing, hiking a fourteener, rock climbing, rafting, kayaking, swimming, week-long beach vacations spent lazily laying in the sand, reading some crappy book to the thunder of crashing waves, fades way too fast.

This is surely not how we want to spend our summers; we don’t want to spend a minimum of 40 hours indoors during June, July and August. It is a choice we’ve made, yes, of course, and it can be undone at any moment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that we should or even could quit our jobs, that’s not the direction I’m headed here, but what working indoors does do is make it hard to decide to go back inside, intoa yoga studio, once we’ve been cut loose at EOB.


Adho Mukha Svanasana

Here is one more healthy way to enjoy the summer’s late-setting sun in the Mile High: Yoga on the River on Friday, August 31, 2012 from 7:00 to 8:15 p.m. Lauren Turnage and Dusty Shroyer will be guiding the practice to live beats by DJ Japadapta in Commons Park West. Come do some yoga outside on a Friday night, let the worries of the week drip off your shoulders and flow into the drifting water to be carried downstream, as far away from you as possible. Bring friends and afterward support local restaurants and the featured charity of the night, the Greenway Foundation, to help clean up the Platte River. The Greenway Foundation was founded by Confluence Kayaks, and partners with various other programs. The after party will be at Root Yoga Center with Harvest Food truck outside.

“The best part about this event is that it gives back to our community. The proceeds from the donation-based class are given to a charity near and dear to our hearts,” says Lauren Turnage, Co‐Owner of Root Yoga Center.

Two months ago, they raised over $600 for the Chanda Plan, a local non‐profit whose goal is to improve the quality of life for persons with physical disabilities. This past Friday, they raised over $500 for Prana Fitness. As if these aren’t reason enough to attend, the Friday, August 31 class is the final installment of Root Yoga Center’s “Yoga on the River” outdoor, donation-based summer series. Don’t miss one moment of it.

Aubrey Brobst is a writer and editor who is mildly obsessed with yoga. When she’s not practicing it, she’s thinking about the next time she will. And whether or not she has enough time before the start of class to ride her Jaguar Shark cruiser to the studio.